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Glencore announces IPO

The Glencore logo is seen at the Swiss commodities giant's headquarters in Baar.

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: The Swiss-based company Glencore wants to go public. Glencore is the world's largest commodities trader -- and, up to now, has been a pretty secretive firm. So will going public -- and all the scrutiny that goes along with it hurt Glencore?

From London, Christopher Werth reports.


CHRISTOPHER WERTH: Glencore's $11 billion offering would be the largest in London's history. But the company's reputation for secrecy is part of what has allowed it to become a commodities giant.

It got its start in the 1970's under Marc Rich, who was pardoned by President Clinton for charges of tax evasion and cutting deals with Iran. Today it has big stakes in everything from zinc and copper to oil, coal and natural gas, with $145 billion in sales last year.

Angus Campbell is with London Capital Group. He says going public means Glencore will now have to be more open with investors. But will that hinder its ability to grow?

ANGUS CAMPBELL: I think that actually it will have the exact opposite effect in that the ability to be able to access funds from global investors will help the company to expand.

But the company doesn't seem to be all that worried about public relations -- its also announced that embattled former BP chief Tony Hayward could be taking a senior role in the company.

In London, I'm Christopher Werth for Marketplace.

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